Four Reasons Readers Skim A Story

Allison Maruska

Readers choose a story because they think it will hold their interest, so why do they sometimes skim or stop reading the story? There’s probably a variety of reasons, but I’ve noticed a few trends in comments in my critique group and from my own reading habits that may offer some insight.

secrets1. Long, elegant descriptions slow things down too much.

Maybe I’m a lazy reader, but when I see a paragraph or a few paragraphs of description that take up a whole page, I groan a little. That means the author stopped the story to describe something in such depth that it took a page to do it. That’s a page where the characters are waiting in a kind of limbo for me to finish reading whatever backstory the author decided I needed to know at that moment. Chances are, I won’t remember most of it. It’s not like…

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